Internet broadcasting? Why not?

I would like to know why there is no “internet broadcasting” as in the television networks playing their programs and commercials on the internet. One can “listen live” on most radio stations in the USA and Canada, and I can watch some very boring religious, foreign, and incredibly boring news programming (Like the Bloomberg Financial Network).

What’s the legal problems? What is the difference of watching TV on a television, or on a computer. In my opinion, a computer is just a more intellegent “idiot box”. I would think that the various sponsors would leap at the chance to advertise their markets worldwide.

There is some stupid American law that prevents this. What would it be?


Bandwidth is my WAG.

There just isn’t enough of it.

Bandwidth. With dialup, no freakin’ way (even streaming audio isn’t terrific). With broadband or other fast access, possible, still requires a lot of bytes. The next generation of Internet access, fersure.

For radio, many Internet broadcasters pulled the plug a few years ago when the RIAA (or ASCAP/BMI, I forget) insisted on X cents per song played per user. Many stations said, “Ridiculous, can’t afford that” and quit the media.

The hardware required to view such broadcasts is not excessive, but in the high-ish end, which lowers the audience a bit - the biggest problem is, as has been mentioned, the bandwidth. Viewers would need a broadband connection, with no congestion upstream. This generally limits you to more technically minded people, who usually like their info in easily-browsable text.

For the broadcasters though, the problem is also bandwidth. It’s not cheap, as anyone who’se even looked into hosting knows, and as web stuff goes, video broadcasting is the most expensive, bitwise. I could run streaming video off my webcam and Linux server myself right now, but if any more than a 1/2 dozen or so of my closest friends wanted a peek, I’d be paying Shaw extra $$$ pretty fast. Compare that with shelling out some dough initially (2000$? I have no idea) for a small transmitter. Anyone in reception distance can watch with no extra cost to me.

On top of all that, there are other problems like the quality being nowhere near that of TV, advertising oportunities being lower than that of a simple webpage, and the amazing competion of everyone else on the 'net. About the only places that work ok with streaming media are the NASA site when a mission is doing something exciting (they’re government funded though, and even that got crushed when Pathfinder landed), and pr0n sites (who get their $$$ up front and can afford everything because of it).

I guess there’s the problem. You could probably get streaming TV channels if lots of people were willing to pay for them, but since anyone with a 50$ TV and rabbit ears can get almost anything, there’s just no demand.

I thought it was the Commercial Actors Guild demanding more money.